After my initial Dead Or Alive 5 buzz died down, I was left feeling empty.
As a fighter it?s the best the series has ever been. It looked wonderful, the addition of Critical Bursts (Charged strikes that stun opponents) added new tactics to what would have been an overly-familiar-if-fun fighting engine and everything flowed perfectly.
However after a few weeks of play I realised that the heart of why I love Dead or Alive
so much had been well and truly remove and it soon started to gather dust on my shelf.
The key to Dead or Alive
, for me, lies within the game?s collectables. It always feels as though your time was rewarded making every attempt at a run of Arcade mode or Time Attack worthwhile, even if it was just for a trophy or a new costume for a character that you don?t use.
Rammed with 34 fighters and over 400 costumes
This had been stripped right back in the original release of Dead or Alive 5
. Instead we were asked to purchase further costumes instead of unlocking them in game. All the skill and determination was removed from the series and replaced with micro transactions, and so I was left with an shallow experience and one that I didn?t really want to go back to.
When Dead or Alive 5: Last Round
was initially announced for PS4 and Xbox One, I wasn?t really interested. The game already looked incredible, so I failed to see what a definitive next-gen version could offer - and I hadn?t managed to forgive the series for the direction it was taking. It wasn?t until I read up a little bit that I started to think Last Round
could be the game that I wanted all along.
It?s absolutely rammed with content, boasting 34 fighters and over 400 costumes - things were looking up. But as it got closer to launch reports of $93 worth of DLC being available from day one knocked me right back down again.
And further I slipped into DO-Anger as I saw the huge clumsy notification bubble on the main menu suggesting you check out the DLC. I hadn?t even started playing the game and it was already asking me to expand it. Subtlety may be something Tecmo isn?t famed for but this just seemed brazen.
Thankfully though, the improvements began to shine soon after. The menus no longer lag, the roster of characters is pretty breathtaking when you first get to the select screen and the improved visuals are only emphasised by the slick framerate-holding battles that played out before me.
Dead or Alive
is all about spectacle. Fights may not be as technically minded as the likes of Street Fighter
, but the result is what looks like a incredibly choreographed martial arts film. Each punch that?s thrown, countered and caught is perfectly animated at lightening speeds to create a flowing fight that is simply wonderful to watch.
That?s not to say that everything in DoA
is down to luck. Take it online and you?ll find a high level of competition, and if you haven?t done your training you?ll get your arse handed to you.
Thankfully this time around the net code is vastly improved over the original release. Matches are solid and once I was actually in a game I?d forgotten that the Internet was even involved.
There is however currently a bug on the Xbox One version which can crash the game when match making. It?s frustrating and made even more so when matchmaking automatically occurs while you?re playing the single player game. So the game will stutter or freeze despite not even fighting online. Thankfully the option to automatically search for games can be turned off and until a fix is sorted, this is advisable.
The other bug I kept experiencing was the game constantly acting as though I was pushing "up" on the stick, making my character side-step until I flicked the stick. Annoying as these things are, I?m not too worried about them as Team Ninja has a history of supporting its games long after launch and I have no doubt that these little niggles will soon be patched out.